3.4.1 — Library Programs for the Public

Effective: September 27, 2022
Last Reviewed: January 21, 2022

  1. Purpose
  2. The purpose of this policy is to define, establish and communicate the criteria and guiding principles related to the presentation of public programming by and on behalf of the Jacksonville Public Library (the “Library”) in support of the organization's mission and strategic plans.

  3. Non-Endorsement
    1. The presentation of a program in no way constitutes the program's endorsement by the Library, its staff, the Board of Library Trustees (the “BOLT”) or any other agent of the Library or the City of Jacksonville. The Library recognizes that some programs may be controversial and that any given program may offend a member of the public.
    2. Ultimate responsibility for the selection of all Library programs rests with the Library Director, who administers programs under the authority of the BOLT. The Library Director may designate decisions and actions related to the administration of programs as appropriate.
    3. The Library Director or designee maintains the expertise, education, training, and authority to interpret and guide the presentation of programs in accordance with Library policy.

  4. Minor Children and Parental Rights and Responsibilities
  5. As with other Library-provided services, minors’ access to Library programs is the responsibility of their parents or legal guardian(s).

  6. Definitions and Standards
  7. The Library defines a program as an intentionally planned activity or event in a publicly accessible group setting developed to meet the needs and/or interests of a target audience. Programs may include, but will not be limited to, lectures, community forums, visual and performance art, interactive workshops, continuing education, fairs and conventions, and discussion groups.

    The BOLT authorizes the Library Director to establish standards for programs that ensure high-quality design and delivery in support of the Library's mission and strategic priorities.

  8. Objective
  9. The Library provides engaging programs to meet the informational, educational, and cultural interests of Duval County residents. Library programs will be designed and delivered to provide enjoyable learning experiences that meet at least one of the following outcomes:

    1. Participant gains awareness of the Library’s resources and services;
    2. Participant gains new knowledge; or
    3. Participant develops a skill

  10. Delivery
    1. Library programs are open to all members of the public, and there is never an entry fee or charge to attend an onsite, offsite or virtual program.
    2. Library programs may be live-streamed and recorded versions may be available for later playback via web-enabled technologies.
    3. The Library may require advanced registration for all or some programs to ensure that adequate space, supplies and resources are available for all attendees. Additionally, the Library reserves the right to limit attendance based on age of intended audience; space, supply or resource limitations; or status as a Library cardholder.
    4. Programming shall be provided so that individuals with disabilities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act can participate in and/or derive benefit from them, provided that accommodation does not result in a fundamental alteration of the service or constitute an undue burden on the Library. The Library will provide programming that permits maximum integration and independent function for qualified individuals. Requests for interpretative services or other accommodations should be made at least two business days in advance of the scheduled event.

  11. Criteria
    1. Programs developed and delivered by and for the Library will support strategic priorities. Programs should comply with the standards established by the Library Director as authorized by the BOLT, and have clearly defined goals, intended audiences, descriptions, outcomes, and objectives. Among the criteria considered when making decisions about a specific program, potential topics, presenters, and related resources will be the following:
      1. Safety and security of customers and staff
      2. Community needs and interests
      3. Ability to supplement and extend information found in Library’s collections, resources, and exhibits.
      4. Availability of the featured resource in the Library’s collection or ability of the Library to purchase the resource as outlined in the Library’s Collection Development Policy.
      5. Ability to promote the Library and encourage use of Library resources
      6. Presentation quality
      7. Presenter background and qualifications in content area
      8. Historical, cultural, or educational significance
      9. Availability of program space
      10. Availability of necessary budget resources
    2. The Library will not provide:
      1. Programs of a purely commercial nature or those designed for the solicitation of business for third parties;
      2. Programs that specifically support or oppose any political party, candidate, or ballot measure; or
      3. Programs that support or oppose a specific religion. Programs may address religious themes to educate or inform, but will not promote or proselytize a particular religious conviction.

  12. External Presenters
    1. The Library draws upon local and national expertise to assist in program delivery. Professional performers and presenters with specialized or unique expertise may be hired to assist in program design and/or delivery.
    2. The Library screens all onsite presenters (paid or unpaid) through the Florida Sexual Predator database prior to the delivery of any program or presentation. For presenters who live outside the State of Florida, the Library will also perform a comparable search the presenter’s state of residence.
    3. The Library may approve the sale of materials as part of a Library-presented program, when the sale is in support of the Library’s programming objectives, the Library’s mission or financially supports the Library.

  13. Reconsideration of Library Programs
    1. The Library welcomes and encourages expression of customer opinions about its programs, as this information can help identify gaps in service. Decisions related to the addition to and deletion from the Library’s program schedule will not be made solely based on customer feedback, but will be considered along with other relevant information gathered about the program and outlined in this policy.
    2. Customers who wish to have a program reconsidered shall submit a signed, written request including rationale to the Library Director following current Library procedure. The request for reconsideration will be reviewed by the Library Director per Library procedure, after which, the Library Director will communicate the result and the reason for it, in writing, to the customer who initiated the request.

  14. Appealing the Library Director’s Decision on a Reconsideration of a Library Program
  15. A customer who has submitted a request for reconsideration of a Library program and is unsatisfied with the decision by the Library Director, may appeal the decision to the BOLT in accordance with Policy 5.5.1 Appealing the Implementation of Policy.

  16. Procedures
  17. The BOLT authorizes the Library Director to establish procedures to administer this policy, and to delegate any and all responsibilities herein to other staff through such procedures.

Associated Policies:

Relevant Legislation:

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